On Nov. 9, Americans awoke to find that Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. The news was met with various reactions around the world: Hilary supporters were shocked, Putin sent a congratulatory telegram and many media agencies pondered how they could be so inconceivably, incredibly wrong.
Despite what many Americans, those who have decided to take out their frustration by breaking windows, yelling and burning this country’s flag may believe, a President Trump is not the end of the world. However, he’s definitely not going to do the world any favors.
During his time in office, President Obama has made strides toward hindering global warming. He supported the Paris Agreement that committed nearly 200 nations to reducing their carbon foot print, and he implemented the Clean Power Plan, which set a national carbon pollution standard for power plants.
Despite Obama’s efforts, climate change can still be a difficult topic to take seriously. After all, this threat is hard to compare to the dire urgency of other issues in the world, such as the bombing of Syria or the fear of an economically unstable future, but the threat remains imminent.
“What makes climate change difficult is that it is not an instantaneous catastrophic event,” Obama said in an interview with the New York Times. “It’s a slow-moving issue that, on a day-to-day basis, people don’t experience and don’t see.”
All the leeway Obama has made during his eight-year presidency will be for nothing if Trump refuses to acknowledge the scientific evidence of climate change.
In 2012, Trump tweeted, “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” Earlier this
month, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin assured Trump that the threat of global warming is not a Chinese “hoax” and pointed out the fact that it was past Republican presidents who worked on climate negotiations.
Never mind the scientific evidence supporting the theory of global warming—the rise of global sea levels, the rate of which is two times faster than that of the last century, the shrinking of glaciers, a dying Great Barrier Reef, the extinction of hundreds of thousands of species and an increase in natural disasters such as droughts and wild fires. All of this, and Trump still decided to make Myron Ebell the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team.
Here’s a little bit on Ebell: he’s spent years denying the existence of global warming, he has zero scientific background, he opposes the Paris Agreement and he is the director of environmental and energy policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a group that “questions global warming alarmism” and was given $2 million from ExxonMobil from 1998 to 2005.
Trump wants to demolish Obama’s climate change policies, and putting a man whose organization is notably financed by the coal industry in charge of the EPA should do the trick.
The decision makes sense. Trump is a businessman, Ebell is a businessman, and they both want to make money. However, in a very short two months, Trump will go from a businessman to one of the most powerful people on the planet.
Many voters probably weren’t thinking about climate change when they cast their votes, but if Trump continues on in denial, the damage may be irreversible